2 Corinthians 1:1
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, to the church of God which is at Corinth with all the saints who are throughout Achaia:
(a) Paul. The author of the second epistle to the Corinthians was the Apostle Paul. Paul had visited Corinth for a period of eighteen months and planted a church during that time (Acts 18:1). After he left Corinth, he remained in close contact by sending the church several letters. The letter we know as Second Corinthians may have been the fourth letter sent by Paul. His first letter, known as the lost letter, is mentioned in 1 Cor. 5:9. His second letter we know as First Corinthians and a third letter, known as the severe letter, is alluded to in 2 Cor. 7:8. It’s possible that the severe letter comprises the final four chapters of Second Corinthians.
Paul wrote Second Corinthians while he was in Macedonia (2 Cor. 8:1). This letter was written probably not more than a year after First Corinthians, in about A.D. 56.
(b) An apostle; see entry for 1 Cor. 1:1.
(c) Timothy Paul’s spiritual son and co-worker, was well-known to the Corinthians. Timothy had been involved in establishing the Corinthian church (Acts 18:5) and had been by Paul sent to Corinth to do some teaching (1 Cor. 4:17). Evidently Timothy was with Paul when he wrote this letter, hence the greeting.
(d) The church. The original word (ekklēsia) means an assembly of people. In the New Testament, it normally refers to a church, but not always (e.g., Acts 19:32).
(e) All the saints. Throughout the New Testament, the Christians are consistently referred to as saints (e.g., Rom. 1:7, 15:25, 1 Cor. 1:2, Eph. 1:1, Php. 1:1, Col. 1:2, Phm. 1:5, Heb. 13:24). Sanctified in Christ, Christians are a holy priesthood (1 Pet. 2:5). You are not a forgiven sinner but a saint.
(f) Achaia was the region of Greece situated to the west of Corinth on the Peloponnese peninsula.
2 Corinthians 1:2
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Grace to you and peace. The apostle of grace begins all of his letters with this gracious salutation. See entry for Rom. 1:7.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
(a) God of all comfort. Trials and troubles are a fact of life (John 16:33) and Paul experienced more than his share (2 Cor. 1:9, 7:5). The God of all comfort never promises to remove our troubles but to comfort us in our afflictions. One way he does this is by revealing more of Jesus to us. “Our comfort abounds through Christ” (2 Cor. 1:5).
(b) Comforted by God. In your trials and hardships, there may be some who, like Job’s siblings, say your troubles are from the Lord (Job 42:11). This is a hopeless and comfortless message. Your Father doesn’t afflict you with suffering; he comforts you. He promises to be with you when you walk through the fire and the water (Is. 43:1-2). He does not send you into the valley of the shadow, but he goes with you so that you will not face your trials alone.
Further reading: “Does the Lord bring trouble?”
2 Corinthians 1:5
For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ.
Your troubles may be big, but Jesus is bigger. When you see him in your boat in the storm or high above your circumstances, you will have relief in your troubles.
The Grace Commentary is a reader-funded website. Got something to say about the commentary? Please use the Feedback page. To report typos or broken links or give feedback on this specific page, please use the comment form below.